Proverbs 25:8

ESV do not hastily bring into court, for what will you do in the end, when your neighbor puts you to shame?
NIV do not bring hastily to court, for what will you do in the end if your neighbor puts you to shame?
NASB Do not go out hastily to argue your case; Otherwise, what will you do in the end, When your neighbor humiliates you?
CSB Don't take a matter to court hastily. Otherwise, what will you do afterward if your opponent humiliates you?
NLT don’t be in a hurry to go to court. For what will you do in the end if your neighbor deals you a shameful defeat?
KJV Go not forth hastily to strive, lest thou know not what to do in the end thereof, when thy neighbour hath put thee to shame.

What does Proverbs 25:8 mean?

A few translations connect the last phrase of the prior verse (Proverbs 25:7) to this teaching. This does not change the essential meaning of the proverb, which is a warning to not get hastily involved in legal matters and accusations. Matthew 18:15–20 includes a similar theme, which is that conflicts are best resolved in the most private setting possible, to avoid false impressions and embarrassment (Matthew 5:23–25).

Sometimes what a person thinks he sees is not the real situation. It is important, therefore, not to haul a neighbor into court unless one has solid evidence and important reason to do so. The plaintiff may not be able to convince the judge that his case is valid. The defendant may put forth convincing evidence that exposes the accusation as groundless. This can be humiliating. Worse, initiating arguments and lawsuits might result in heavier scrutiny; the one who started the quarrel might end up suffering more than their target. The following proverb (Proverbs 25:9–10) contains a similar idea.

It is best to think a matter over carefully and not jump to conclusions. James 1:19 says, "Let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger." In James 4:1, the apostle writes, "What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you?" When a person drags a neighbor into court without hard evidence against him, it is likely because his passions have short-circuited his brain. It has been observed: When a person's temper gets the best of him, it reveals the worst of him.
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